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34<>           **v    COUNTRY    AND    MY    PEOPLE

and despondency, how young men climbed over school walls
and travelled a thousand miles to join a revolutionary army
and gladly laid down their lives for the cause of a regenerated
China; how only recently, in 1931, the guns of the Nine-
teenth Route Army set the whole nation on fire once more,
and the young and old gave unto their last penny and showed
a mettle that no one had dreamed existed in the nation. Old
China seemed in a moment to have found her soul again. Then
the fire was dampened: it flickered, went out and left a dark-
ness behind, for want of someone to tend and nourish it. If
there were one, the smouldering ashes could be kindled into a
glowing fiaine again, even now.


I turn my thoughts to other lines. It seems, then, that our
steps are indeed caught in a hopeless tangle of dark realities,
but it also seems to be otherwise. For here is a nation whose
potential possibilities are yet unexplored, but lacking in some-
thing to let loose these potential powers. Here is a nation of
fine soldiers but bad captains, fine business men but bad
business policies, fine friends but bad clubhouses, fine citizens
but bad statesmen, and fine democratic men but a bad re-
public. It only needs a system to put the nation in running
order, a something which the nation woefully lacks. What is
that thing? Big words with capital letters shoot across my
mind, like Democracy, Morality, Grit, Spunk, Efficiency, A
Good Executioner. . . . But what is Democracy? The
Chinese people are, and always have been, the most demo-
cratic, the most casteless, the most self-respecting on earth.
And what is even Socialism? Have we not had the most
advanced form of Anarchism, a Village Socialism, automatic,
self-ruling, and a central government on top only to collect
taxes and render justice? "The heaven is high and the Emperor
is far away/* It was even so always. Replace the word "guild"
with the word "village," and there you have the most advanced
type of Socialism you want. But that, too, I give up? for aero-
planes are making Village Socialism impossible, and the